On Australia Day, she called for unity. To those who know Georgia Taggart it mightn’t be a surprise to hear the young woman to show gumption, initiative and leadership. The surprising, and perhaps ironic, thing is a youngster with so many strings to her bow calling for a sense of oneness. While she has the exuberance you might expect from a teenager with the world at her feet, people say she demonstrates “inclusiveness, modesty and a maturity beyond her years”.
The battle for young citizen of the year was fought between budding filmmaker Geordie Brown and 2017 NAIDOC Week Aboriginal Achievement Award winner Georgia Taggart.
The pair registered a list of accomplishments before adulthood which would satisfy most across a lifetime.
Ms Taggart took the title and called for more unity.
“Through school and in the community and my generation today, there’s not that kind of unity,” she said.
“You have to be with the trend otherwise you’re kind of a nobody and I don’t like to see that.
“To me, it doesn’t matter if you’re from a different country, culture, religious beliefs, we’re one.
While it was a close fight for the young citizen title, Ms Taggart has a taste for a tussle and is gunning for a career with the defence force.
“We live in a beautiful nation with so many opportunities,” she said.
“I’ve been brought up in a very good home and I’ve had a good education and just being able to have that opportunity, that’s why I want to join the defence force.
“It’s very patriotic, but you know, it’s home, and it will always be home and to have that kind of freedom and opportunity, I want to fight for that.”
Taggart takes up the baton
The Tamworth High School captain was awarded the NAIDOC Young Achiever Award last year and is an active volunteer within the community.
Miss Taggart was unsure of who had nominated her but whoever it was holds the young leader in high regard.
“Georgia is an incredible young woman who excels in many different aspects of her life,” the nomination story for Miss Taggart read.
“Georgia consistently demonstrates friendliness, inclusiveness, modesty and a maturity beyond her years.”
One thing Miss Taggart knew was how thankful she was for the nomination.
“I have no idea who nominated me but I’m very grateful for them to nominate me. It’s been an experience already,” she said.
Miss Taggart will be joined by 3800 other Australians to carry the baton.
“Knowing that Anna Meares carried it, I was like ‘wow’. Just speechless,” Miss Taggart said.
“It’s a longstanding tradition that embraces and celebrates the Commonwealth’s diversity. To be a part of something that connects people, communities and cultures together [is incredible].”
After being nominated, Miss Taggart was required to fill out documents.
At the time Miss Taggart was in the middle of Year 12 and unsure if she’d have time to complete them all.
However, she quickly settled on completing the process and couldn’t be happier.
“It’s definitely a once in lifetime opportunity and I couldn't be more grateful or privileged to be a part of that,” she said.
Each batonbearer will complete a 200-metre section of the relay for which Miss Taggart had a game plan. “I think I might be jogging to make the most of it,” she said.